What are the words that have formed you? That's what I had the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on as I prepared to preach last Sunday - as I focused on a prayer that is a part of my life.
"...in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." (Pico Iyer) As I've been pursuing the practice of stillness, I have read a book called The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, a travel writer. Throughout the book he makes keen observations about stillness, and in a wonderful Ted Talk that he presented, he said, "The trip, in other words, gave me some amazing sights, but it's only sitting still that allows me to turn those into lasting insights" Here, [...]
A practice that I was introduced to years ago, that I have been revisiting lately, has been a prayer practice called "Active Prayer," or another way that I've heard it referred to has been called "Breath Prayer." It’s pretty simple: an active or breath prayer is a 6-12 word prayer that you pray throughout the day (usually inside yourself), and is short enough that you can pray it in the length of a breath. The active prayer is a way that many throughout history have put the following scriptures into practice: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth." - Psalm 34:1 [...]
My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. - Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel A blessing that I categorize as a 'dangerous blessing,' is one that Larry Hine, Brennan Manning's spiritual director, gave to Manning at his ordination. I kiddingly call them 'dangerous blessings,' because, as I mentioned in my post "A Beautifully Uncomfortable Blessing," it's not that they do harm, but they courageously embrace what we would normally consider desolation for the purpose of the greatest consolation: experiencing the Love of Christ more deeply. The thing that resonates with me regarding these 'dangerous [...]
He who goes about to reform the world must begin with himself, or he loses his labor. -St. Ignatius of Loyola Something that has been paradigm shifting for me has been the Examen prayer. As a husband, father and non-profit worker, the Examen has been impactful for me, for self-awareness as well as for my spiritual development in Christ-centered discernment. I've found that it's a useful tool to see where God is at work, and is calling me to Himself throughout the day. Along with this prayer (that I'll share below), there is language (terms) that Ignatius introduces us to, called: "consolations and desolations." Generally put, a desolation is the [...]